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Moomin gingerbread house!

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

Tada! Here is finally our little family project: a Moomin gingerbread house! We found the template here and we used some of our normal gingerbread cookie dough. We had great fun doing the Moomin house and next year we’ll try something more difficult :-)

Fredrik is applying “snow” on the moomin house roof.

Lussekatter or Lucia cats or Saffron buns

Monday, December 4th, 2006

Yesterday was the first sunday of Advent. Christmas is getting closer and closer and it’s time to get into that Christmas mode. We bought new Advent star lights for our windows which we hang up, we baked ginger bread cookies and we started on building a ginger bread cookie house which we’ll finish this evening. And for our Advent breakfast I baked Lussekatter which means Lucia Cats. They are basically S formed Saffron buns which are very common in Sweden before Christmas and especially on Lucia day. I always use the same recipe, the one from Arla which contains quark (Kesella) as it makes the buns moist and nice. I really recommend this recipe, the saffron buns becomes very moist and juicy, far from the dry ones found in stores. The only thing I’ve changed about the recipe is that I add more saffron, which both I and Fredrik like a lot.

    Lussekatter

    50 g fresh yeast
    100 g butter
    500 ml milk
    250 g Kesella lätt (quark)
    1.5 g saffron (3 Swedish “bags” of saffron).
    150 ml caster sugar
    abour 1700 ml flour

    For garnishing:
    raisins

    For brushing:
    1 beaten egg

    Melt butter in a pan and add the milk. Make sure that the mixture is lukewarm (37 degrees C). Pour the mixture over the finely divided yeast. Mix and then add the remaining ingredients. Work the dough so it becomes smooth and nice. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 40 minutes.

    Knead the dough, divide it into 32 pieces. Form each piece of dough into a string, 15-20 cm long, then arrange the string in a double S. Place 2 raisins at the ends of each bun. Cover the buns with a kitchen towel and let them rise for 30 minutes.

    Brush the buns with the egg and then bake them in the oven at 225 degrees C, about 5-8 minutes until they are golden brownish yellow.

House plans!

Friday, December 1st, 2006


The result of last year’s gingerbread batch

First Advent is coming up and tonight I’m preparing a batch of gingerbread cookie dough just like last year. This year though, my plans are bigger and a gingerbread cookie house will be built! Stay tuned for the result which will be published during the weekend!

Chocolate Gingerbread

Monday, November 20th, 2006

This heavy and rich chocolate gingerbread is from Nigella’s “Feast”. I bought the book very recently and this is actually the first recipe which I’ve tried. I’m not a big chocolate cake lover, but this was great. It’s perfect with a glass of cold milk, but be prepared to enter a chocolate coma if you even try to eat more than one piece :-) As this is a kind of Christmas cake due to all the spices I used Julmust instead of Ginger Ale for the frosting. Julmust is a Swedish softdrink closely associated with Christmas and it was perfect, you can feel a vague hint of it when eating the cake. To the cake I added some chili (inspired by Esurientes) and some cardamom, but feel free to exclude them even if I do recommend the chili!

    Chocolate Gingerbread
    (from Nigella’s “Feast”. The recipe can also be found on her homepage)
    Makes about 12 slabs.

    FOR THE CAKE:
    175 gr unsalted butter
    125 gr dark muscovado sugar
    2 tbsp caster sugar
    200 gr golden syrup (I used “ljus sirap”)
    200 gr black treacle or molasses (I used “brödsirap” as I didn’t have anything darker at hand)
    1/4 tsp ground cloves
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    2 tsp ground ginger
    1 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    2 tbsp warm water
    2 eggs
    250 ml milk
    275 gr plain flour
    40 gr cocoa
    175 gr chocolate chips (I used about 85 gr of 80 % dark chopped chocolate and 85 gr of chocolate chips – 55 %)

    Myself I also added:
    1 tsp cardamom
    1 tsp cayenne powder

    FOR THE ICING:
    250 gr icing sugar
    30 gr unsalted butter
    1 tbsp cocoa
    60 ml ginger ale (I used “Julmust” *lol*)

    Preheat the oven to gas mark 3/170C and tear off a big piece of baking parchment to line the bottom and sides of a roasting pan of approximately 30 x 20 x 5 cm deep.

    In a decent-sized saucepan, melt the butter along with the sugars, golden syrup, treacle or molasses, cloves, cinnamon and ground ginger. In a cup dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the water. Take the saucepan off the heat and beat in the eggs, milk and bicarb in its water. Stir in the flour and cocoa and beat with a wooden spoon to mix. Fold in the chocolate chips, pour into the lined tin and bake for about 45 minutes until risen and firm. It will be slightly damp underneath the set top and that’s the way you want it.

    Remove to a wire rack and let cool in the tin. Once cool, get on with the icing.

    Sieve the icing sugar. In a heavy-based saucepan heat the butter, cocoa and ginger ale. Once the butter’s melted, whisk in the confectioners’ sugar. Lift the chocolate gingerbread out of the tin and unwrap the paper. Pour over the icing just to cover the top and cut into fat slabs when set.

Ćwikła

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006
Tarte buraki z chrzanem
Grated beetroots with horseradish

Ćwikła isn’t quite easy to pronounce so I’ve always just called it buraki, because that’s what is is. Buraki simpy means beetroots and this is a typical Polish condiment, served with roast or any kind of smoked meat or sausage. It is a must on the holiday table, regardless if it’s Christmas or Easter. Ćwikła basically consists of grated beetroots and horseradish. I prefer it with as much horseradish as possible, really hot and nice. Make a try next time you’ll make a Sunday roast!

    Dagmar’s buraki
    (makes 1 jar)

    800 gr beetroots
    20 gr (or even more) horseradish
    5 tbsp lemon juice
    0.5- 1 tbsp Maldon Sea Salt

    Clean the beetroots but don’t peel them. Boil them in water for about 1 hour, until they’re soft. Let the beetroots cool and them peel them. Grate the beetroots as finely as you can, myself I use my parmesan microplain. Just be careful not to get any nasty stains! Grate the horseradish aswell and mix it with the beetroots. Add the lemon juice and the salt. Taste. Add more horseradish if needed, this dish is supposed to be stingy. Fill up a hot sterilized jar with the mixture and keep in the fridge.

Grate the beetroots carefully

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Swienconka

Happy Easter!! I’m on my way to church now, with a small basket. Every year, on Holy Saturday we go to church to bless our Easter food. We prepare a Swienconka (Easter Basket), which contains samples of the Easter food. Each family decorate the basket in their own way and the most common contents of the basket are salt, pepper, bread, horseradish and boiled and painted eggs. But there are many variations. I love this tradition which is only common among Eastern European Roman-Catholics. When I was I child I put a lot of effort in painting the eggs for the basket. This year I tried to be effective and put food colour in the boiling water, but all the eggs remained white :-) For more information about possible contents in the basket, read my post from last year.

For the first time in my life I’m not celebrating with my family in Gothenburg, but one good thing is that I and Fredrik will visit his old Grandmother and we will bring Easter food, Västerbotten pie and Rhubarb cake with us. She’s really looking forward to us coming and I’m sure we’ll have a nice time. But now I have to run to the oven so that the cake won’t get burned and then we’re off to church. Happy Easter!

My Polish Wigilia

Wednesday, January 4th, 2006

Fresh fruit and other goodies
Fresh fruit and sweets at my mother’s.

(Click on the photos to enlarge).

Fredrik and I never eat Christmas Eve Dinner together. Why, you may ask. Well, Fredrik prefers Swedish Christmas food with his family and I prefer Polish Christmas food with my family :-) In the morning we eat breakfast together (te and gingerbread cookies) while we open our Christmas presents. Then we separate go to our families to celebrate with them. This year (or actually last year as it’s already January), thanks to our rather new mobile phones, we had video calls during the day in which we were able to see each other and our families. Fredrik’s grandmother who’s over 90 years old was thrilled over the video calls and had a lot of fun.

In Poland the Christmas Eve dinner, Wigilia, begins when the first star – Gwiazdka - appears on the sky. Normally this occur around 3-4 P.M. The dinner table has always an extra place set for an unexpected guest, which I think is a lovely custom. The table is set with a white tablecloth and under it there should be a thin layer of hay in memory of the Godchild in the manger. However in my family we have always omitted the hay for an unknown reason. Before the dinner starts we pray by the table and then we share Opłatek with each other. Opłatek is a Christmas wafer, very similiar to the altar bread in the Roman Catholic Church. The Opłatek that we share is stamped with beautiful ornaments and it is always sent from my dear aunt in Poland. Everybody takes a piece of the Opłatek and then breaks it with each person present while wishing each other health, love, happiness and other more personal wishes. I always have a hard time during this moment as I get very emotional.

Uszki
Uszki, the beetroot soup Barszcz will be poured over them in just a while.

The dinner then continues with the first dish, which is the beetroot soup Barszcz. On Christmas it is served clear without any pieces or vegetables. The soup is very hot and normally my brother Sebastian always does the very last seasoning before it is served. This year he celebrated Christmas with his parents-in-law, which means that we had to put the last touch ourselves but we managed well :-) The Barszcz is served with Uszki which means small ears. I guess that you can say that it’s a kind of small stuffed tortellini with mushrooms that my mother makes. This year, when I started eating the Barszcz and the uszka I just couldn’t stop smiling and my mother laughed at me. But it was so divine and I was really happy to eat it as we only eat it once a year.

Barszcz z uszkami
Barszcz z uszkami (Beetroot soup).

Before I continue with describing the food I just want to mention that the Wigilia is a meatless dinner. Long time ago the Roman Catholic Church decided that meat on Christmas Eve was forbidden and that a strict fast should be observed. Nowadays the Church laws have been revised and permit meat on Wigilia but most of the families continue with the meatless dinner, my family would never dream of changing this old tradition.

Ruskie Pierogi Pierogi z kapustą kiszoną i grzybami
Ruskie Pierogi and Pierogi z kapustą kiszoną i grzybami.

After the Barszcz we continue with the Pierogi, my favourite dish. Pierogi is a kind of Ravioli or dumplings, stuffed with goodies. There are a lot of differents variants, but my favourite is the one with quark cheese and potatoes called Ruskie Pierogi (Russian Pierogi. Don’t ask me why they are called like that. I suspect that they don’t have anything to do with Russia at all). Luckily for me, the ones we eat for Christmas are always Ruskie Pierogi and also Pierogi z kapustą kiszoną i grzybami (Pierogi with sauerkraut and mushrooms). So know you know my favourites, Barszcz and Ruskie Pierogi, but there are other dishes as well. So let us continue.

Śledzie w śmietanie
Śledzie w śmietanie, pickled herring with Crème Fraiche.

Śledzie , pickled herring, is another great dish. This year we only had one kind of herring, Śledzie w śmietanie, which is pickled herring in cream or actually Crème Fraiche and onion. Earlier years we’ve had pickled herring in a kind of oil as well, but each year we tend to eat less food and it’s no use waisting it so nowadays we only prepare our absolute favourites. The Polish pickled herring differs from the Swedish one; there’s no sugar and the taste is much better even if I can appreciate the Swedish one as well.

Chrzan Buraki
Chrzan and Ćwikła.

Another typical Polish dish is Ćwikła, very finely grated beetroots with horseradish. Delicious and hot, perfect as accompaniment to other dishes. Then there’s also Chrzan, finely grated horseradish that we always get ready from Poland in some way. It’s really hot and perfect as a strong accompaniment just as the Ćwikła.

Vegetable salad Crayfish tail salad
Vegetable salad and Crayfish tail salad.

Another dish on the Christmas table is vegetable salad with potatoes, green peas, carrots, onion and mayonnaise. There’s also a salad with crayfish tails and eggs, among other things. And there’s also smoked salmon and fried fish. I didn’t take any photos of the “non-typical” Polish dishes as I wanted to place emphasis on the traditional Polish food.

As I wrote earlier, we don’t make as much food for Christmas as we used to do as we ended up with too much left-overs. When I was a young girl we, among other dishes, always had Carp - the traditional Polish Christmas fish. The Carp was bought alive (!) at Saluhallen by my mother and then we had it in the bath tub for a few days before the poor fish was killed by my father. Understandable, I wasn’t at home at the terrible points of time. And most important, I never ate the Carp. Never. This doesn’t mean that my parents were cold-murdered Carp killers. Buying an alive Carp and having it in your bath tub is a typical Polish tradition and everyone does it, or at least did it earlier. Luckily Carps are not allowed to be sold alive in Sweden anymore. The whole Polish Carp tradition is a big issue that has attracted attention among many, so read more about Polish people and their Christmas Carps here.

Tort Jagodywy Tort Czekoladowy
Blueberry Cake and Chocolate Cake.

After dinner, it’s time for the Christmas presents. Just as last year I was announced Santa and had to wear a Santa cap while handing out all Christmas presents from under my mother’s white (!) Christmas tree. We had a great time and after a while we were enough hungry to start with the cakes and the coffee. Traditionally Polish people eat Sernik (Polish baked Cheesecake) and Makowiec (Poppy Seed cake) on special occasions, but otherwise also. This year my mother made a delicious Blueberry Cake while I did a Chocolate Cake and the Chocolate Oblivion Cake that I’ve blogged about earlier, originally from 101 Cookbooks. I also made an extra Chocolate Oblivion Cake for Fredrik’s family which they appreciated very much as their dessert had strangely disappeared. Actually the main ingredient for their dessert, Ris à la Malta ( a delicious kind of creamy rice pudding that you eat in Sweden as Christmas dessert), had disappeared so they were extra happy for the lovely Chocolade Cake which they ate instead.

I hope that you also had a wonderful Christmas with your dear ones. I had a lovely time and this year, after moving to Stockholm, the Wigilia will mean even more to me as I won’t be able to see my parents as often as today.

(Click on the photos to enlarge).

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24th, 2005

Merry Christmas dear readers! I wish you all the best. I’m at my mother’s, preparing the last things for Christmas dinner which will start in an hour. Yes, in Sweden and Poland we celebrate Christmas today on Christmas Eve. I will take photos of the food and tell you all about our typical Polish Christmas food during the coming days.

Take care! And have a wonderful Christmas with your dear ones!drivers usb actions device mp3james donload blunt mp3 197312 mp3 stones001 mp3 encodermp3 avalon 96chevy mp3 571975 baptist mp3 hymnaleditor forum 8 mp3 1st tag 5 Map